Driving past a familiar sign on Highway 12 for the last year has left some in Bowman wondering when construction was going to begin on its promised new hotel and bar.Posted Feb. 28, 2014
By BRYCE MARTIN
Driving past a familiar sign on Highway 12 for the last year has left some in Bowman wondering when construction was going to begin on its promised new hotel and bar.
The sign that touted the new Bowman Lodge indicated the establishment would be completed last fall. But autumn came and went, with no presence of earthmovers or construction crews.
So, what’s the status on the highly anticipated Bowman Lodge?
Well, the wait is nearly over.
Doug Peterson, developer with Northwest Supply in Lemmon, S.D., had the idea to build a 50-room hotel in Bowman after his company completed a similar project in their hometown in 2009.
“The comment from a lot of traveling public and salespeople was, ‘we know you need one in Lemmon, but why aren’t you building one in Bowman – we haven’t been able to get a room in Bowman for five years,’” Peterson said. “So that kind of started us thinking and we started planning for it after we did Lemmon.”
Construction, slated to begin last year and wrap up around last Thanksgiving, was postponed and delayed several times, but Peterson told the Pioneer on Tuesday that the new Bowman Lodge would be open for operation this fall.
“We are going to start construction if winter ever leaves,” he said.
For the project to be a success, the land was critical.
Peterson said it was important for the space to be situated on both highways – Highways 12 and 85. At that time, rumors started circulating around Bowman that the hotel was coming, but the company didn’t yet own the land, he said.
The site that Northwest Supply will build on actually was being held for the Bowman Fire Department at the start of the project. The fire department wanted to build a new fire hall on the land and they had applied for federal stimulus money.
Owners of the land gave Northwest Supply the second option if the fire department passed. When the stimulus money didn’t come through for the department, Northwest Supply had the opportunity to purchase it.
As fast as they obtained the land, however, another problem arose.
When Northwest Supply purchased the property, it was located within the county and not within Bowman city limits.
“A lot of that property on the south side of the highway is not in the city limits,” he said.
The company applied for and received all necessary permits from the county and was getting ready to break ground when they discovered the city passed a resolution a few years earlier where the city didn’t automatically have to supply city services outside city limits.
“They didn’t say they wouldn’t, but they weren’t compelled to do it,” he said. “With the monies involved and all that, we really couldn’t take a chance on the city council saying they didn’t really want to do this, so we started the process of annexing into the city of Bowman.”
And that cost the project one year.
The property now is part of the city of Bowman, after being annexed in October.
“When the sign went up, we were still thinking we were going to be in the county. It was kind of a late decision,” he said.
Bowman Lodge will be a 50-room upscale hotel, complete with a sports bar, banquet facilities for approximately 250 people and an indoor pool. It will span two stories and approximately 27,000 square feet.
In an exciting twist of fate, Peterson said the delay allowed for expansion of the project to now include a large, 3,000-square-foot fitness center, something that wasn’t in the original planning.
Northwest Supply is serving as the developer and lead contractor for the project, with an LLC organization composed of numerous investors – some local and some out of the area – that would own the hotel. Peterson said the sports bar space would be leased out to an independent party that is not a chain.
“We tried to do what the people of Bowman seemed to be asking for,” he said. “We think it will do very well based on our research. We’re offering things that we’ve been told Bowman really needs and wants.”